Thursday, July 13, 2006

Being A Good Neighbor

(Click on the photos to enlarge)
This is our next-door neighbor's back yard.
All of the stonework and gardens are new, having been
completed just today.
It's a big improvement, as there was nothing but grass
before. We're happy for her, and a little jealous
because our backyard looks kinda plain by comparison.

This is the space between our houses.
Note the tarp with dirt on it, which has been there
for over two months. To get an idea of what our lawns
look like underneath it, consider that the patch of ruined
grass next to our driveway was covered by a stray pile of
dirt for only one week.
Because her workers only spend two days out of every seven
on this job, cleanup probably won't start until Tuesday.
And when you combine this project with the one from last
fall, which included the building of an addition and a complete
paintjob on her house and fence, there have been trucks
parking and driving on my grass for
longer than I can remember.
What I'm saying is our lawn on this side of the driveway
is well and truly fucked all the way out to the street,
and may never fully recover. It looks like shit.

Let's pile it on thicker: Because the previous tenants of
our home (and the neighbor) neglected the space between
the houses there isn't much more than dirt there, making
it the biggest cat-poop depository on the street.
I had planned to buy a pallet of sod in May to remedy this,
and finish my three-year project of making our lawn perfect.
This will have to wait another year, of course, and will
probably require three times the sod to get the job done.
That's a couple hundred dollars worth of grass, and seeding
is out of the question because we have St.Augustine (carpet
grass) and seeds are simply not available. This species of
grass just doesn't work that way.
You have to till the soil, pay a grass farm to deliver stacks
of sod squares, space them a few inches apart (because full
coverage is simply too expensive), then water them daily for
six months until they grow together.
(A smaller section I planted last summer proves that the system
works very well. St.Augustine sends out 'runners' that take over
nearby dirt, and will even dominate inferior grasses and weeds.)

Now, let's discuss the thousands of pounds of spare gravel
that her crew piled up against the side of our house!
I can't believe anyone thought I would be OK with this.
I'm not even going to tell you how tall that bush was before
her son chopped it down without permission.
(Oh hell, why not? It was over 8 feet tall, but he cut it down
to 3 inches! WTF is up with that?)

Lord, please give me the strength to continue being
a good neighbor, even though I'm the only one who's
actually trying here

I wonder what's next?
An apology for all of this bullshit would be nice but I'll
settle for an end to these projects that cause my blood to boil
every single time I walk outside and see my fucked-up yard.
Think happy thoughts...
Think happy thoughts...
Think happy thoughts...

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